Construction work of Chilime-Trishuli transmission line halted

Kathmandu, January 22

The Division Forest Office of Rasuwa district has halted the construction work of the 220 KVA Chilime-Trishuli transmission line that falls in the forest area under its jurisdiction.

Shova Subedi, head of the Division Forest Office, has accused the project of not getting the required approval from the office to use the forest area to build the transmission line.

According to Kedar Silwal, head of the Chilime-Trishuli Transmission Line Project, they have already submitted the proposal of forest clearance to the Cabinet. The Cabinet is yet to decide on the proposal.

Silwal claimed that there are no trees in the forest area where the project has been erecting the poles for the construction of the transmission line. “In fact, the whole area where the poles are being set up is devoid of any trees.”

“In such a scenario I see no justification in the construction works being halted by the division forest office,” he stated.

However, Subedi said that even if there are no trees in the area it is mandatory for the project to receive forest clearance approval before starting any construction activity.

Meanwhile, Silwal informed that the transmission line is being built at a high altitude, so construction works need to be completed within the dry season. “If we are unable to build the transmission line on time then energy being generated by different hydropower projects in the area will go to waste.”

According to him, almost 170 megawatts of electricity could go to waste if construction of the Chilime-Trishuli transmission line is delayed. The project has set a target to finish building the 27-kilometre long transmission line by the end of this fiscal year.

Silwal further added that the delay will directly affect the 110-megawatt Rasuwagadhi hydropower, 42.5-MW Sanjen hydropower and 14.8-MW Upper Sanjen hydropower projects. Moreover, there is also a provision whereby Nepal Electricity Authority could fine the project for not completing construction works on time.

Meanwhile, the project has already distributed the entire compensation amount that needs to be paid for acquiring land for the project from private land owners.

The 220 kVA Chilime-Trishuli transmission line project is being jointly constructed by the European Union, German Development Cooperation/KfW, European Investment Bank and the Nepal government at a total cost of about 65 million euros.

The project will also include the construction of the 220/132 kV Trishuli 3 B Hub Substation.